I really sent this in response to an article about why the war in Iraq was justified!!! Oh my God. Now the Catholics are condoning our murderous actions in Iraq? Well it was one guys opinion but still I think it was wrong to print it in a religious newspaper. Catholics should know better than to condone participation in a "crusade". But it seems even some Catholics are drinking koolaid.
Dear Editor of the LI Catholic,
George Wiegel's column, "Iraq and just war, revisted" horrified me. If I were reading a fundamentalist Christian newspaper or a secular paper, I would have expected this and I would have kept my keyboard shut. We were given the reason that Saddam Hussein was going to use weapons of mass destruction against us for invading Iraq. As it turns out, the "intelligence" was faulty and there were no WMD's. They knew before the war that Iraq did not seek yellow cake from Niger. Now the media and the White House dredge up all sorts of other reasons why it was good that we invaded Iraq to save face, I presume and not let down the families of GI's who were killed. I suppose I commend them on that. Well the real reason for war was ill founded. Thousands of people are dead. One thing that is for sure is that we don't know anything for sure.
Interestingly when I watched Rumsfeld on Face the Nation, he was trying to deny that anyone ever said that the threat to the US was immediate or imminent. (those swift guys on Face the Nation proved to him that he did say those things) Now if this were actually true and we were in imminent danger (although we know it's not), our government simply did not plan this war very well. They demonstrated their total disregard for our soldiers who signed up to defend our country by sending too few troops to Iraq and those troops were not adequately equipped to fight a war in the desert. There was not enough body armor for one thing! The trucks and guns were not fitted for sand conditions. Soldiers were stuck in the sand like sitting ducks. Perhaps if the war were planned better, these minor inconveniences would have been worked out. If in fact Saddam's threat against the US was not imminent as Rumsfeld now asserts, then why didn't we wait and get our plans together and get the troops properly equipped before we invaded Iraq? If the UN was so worried that Saddam's breach of Resolution 1441, then I am sure we could have left it to them to deal with it.
It's been pointed out to me lately that this is the usual way that war is run. Improper planning, not enough ammo, no flak jackets, etc. Well I think it stinks. I think war stinks but if you're going to do it and you are not in imminent danger, then by all means, do it right!
I read in USA Today recently that George Pataki was telling his constituents that it's a good thing we are fighting terrorism in Baghdad rather than here in New York. Well let's see about that. The people who attacked us on 9/11 were not Iraqi's nor was Saddam involved in that attack. Al Qaida didn't bother with Iraq as it was a secular country. Now that Iraq is in shambles, I understand that al Qaida is there now and allying with Iraqi insurgents. Wonderful. Keep spreading the propaganda, Mr. Pataki.
Thousands upon thousands of innocents have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their deaths distress me just as much as the innocent people who died on 9/11. Our soldiers, as well as innocent Iraqi's will be plagued by the results of depleted uranium in the ammunition. What good is it to liberate a country when there is more radiation left in Iraq than thousands of Nagasaki bombs could have left? This is not the type of radiation that occurs in nature. I haven't heard about any US corporations who are interested in cleaning it up. If I am wrong, then I stand corrected.
Wiegel writes:"We also know now that we haven’t found caches of WMD in Iraq. What difference does this make to the moral analysis?"
Well it makes a lot of difference. We weren't in imminent danger of being attacked in the US and yet we dropped bombs on Baghdad. If Dan Rather was able to interview Saddam not long before we waged war, how come we couldn't send in spies or special soldiers to prowl around and catch all the bad guys without blowing innocent people to smithereens? It was even reported that our President felt compelled by God to go to war. Well it just so happens that God told me that pre-emptive war is morally wrong. Was God lying to me? Does Bush have a better pipeline to God than I? We know Bush is interested in pipelines. Does he monopolize all the pipelines in the universe?
How come God tells so many people so many conflicting things? How can we really be sure when God is talking to us? When we feel compelled to wage war and kill thousands of people, is it really God talking to us? Of course not to the last question! We know from the Old Testament that the writers used to pit the blame on God for everything. This is a very naive notion in modern times but not uncommon among fundamentalists who are desperately trying to replace science with the book of Genesis. We know that George Bush had no problem signing execution orders as governor of Texas and he believes that "evil doers" deserve to be killed. Now the President uses God to further his political agenda.
President Bush's religious zeal mixed with politics is frightening to me. Why? Beside his frequent use of the word 'crusade' when speaks about ridding the world of terrorists (who happen to be Moslems) and his implications recently that the bad guys in Iraq have "no soul" are only 2 reasons. (I could write a dissertation on this topic) Is he the leader of the most powerful secular nation in the world with the most nukes or does he think he is one with God? How does he know who has a soul or not? What kind of rhetoric is that from a world leader? But since he brought it up, I'm not sure Mr. Bush is familiar with the Gospels. His God is the angry vengeful God of the Old Testament. The God who needs human sacrifice, constant flattery and fear. I believe that our President forgot about the Sermon on the Mount... among other things.
Most Bible Christians I meet want to go back and forth with me quoting chapter and verse on why Jesus himself would or would not support the war. Who would Jesus bomb, indeed. I think we should leave God out of politics because most people who want to be good Christians just don't get the point of the Bible. This is still a secular nation, like it or not and we know from history that jamming ones religious and moral values down other's throats only backfires. I've always felt that Christian values should be taught by example. If our country thinks we are doing that, then we have set Christianity back about 500 years.